Announcing the 9th Annual Jacksonville Tomato Fest Tournament.

The Jacksonville Bass Club is gearing up for its 9th Annual Jacksonville Tomato Fest Tournament. The tournament is scheduled for June 14, 2008. Hours are from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and boat launching is at the concession boat ramp.

A minimum of three places will be paid. Fees are $60 per team, which includes $5 fee for big bass. There will be an 80 percent payback, with 100 percent payback on big bass. There will be a five fish limit per team including big bass. Largemouth and Kentucky bass may be weighed in.

Entry forms can be picked up at Discount City (sporting goods), Wal-Mart (sporting goods), and Jacksonville Bass Club members.

Last year’s tournament was heralded as the best ever. There were 35 teams who participated in this event, up from 29 teams the previous year. There were lots of four-pound bass weighed in with several bass in the 5 to 7 pound range.

James Beene weighed in a whopping 11.01 pound bass which was the largest bass ever caught in a Tomato Fest Tournament. Beene targeted bass in the 12-foot zone using a Zoom, watermelon, Texas rig worm.

This year will be different from others due to the demise of hydrilla. I am finding a few small patches of hydrilla beginning to grow back. A good graph will show hydrilla growth even if it’s only a few inches tall. Most of what I’ve found is in about 12 to 15 feet deep.

Last year all the contestants mainly targeted the hydrilla. Many targeted the 12 to 15 foot depths while others fished as deep as 25 feet.

Most started their day using buzz baits and Yellow Magic baits and Zara Spooks. As the day progressed, worms and jigs dominated their fishing.

This year I suspect most of the bass will come off of boat houses, deep points and brush piles. A lot of man-made fish attractants have been placed in key spots all over the lake. Many are cementing four-foot sections of PVC pipe into Hadite blocks and sinking them on good structure. As always, someone will come up with a good strategy on how and where to catch the big fish.

There are still some really big bass being caught out of Lake Jacksonville. Frank Lusk caught a nine-pound bass in one of the Thursday night tournaments in April.

For additional information about the upcoming tournament, contact Barry Moore at 903-586-8427, Tomato Fest Fishing Chairman.

Miller can be contacted at: gonefishing@suddenlink.net

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